Students at Texas Wesleyan often think the only places to eat on campus are WhichWich, Zoca’s and Dora’s, however, there are multiple free food options for all students at Texas Wesleyan who need food assistance. These options include:
The TxWes food pantry has been on campus since Fall 2016, when Dr. Alison Simons and Eddie Castlow, a volunteer at Polytechnic United Methodist Church (PUMC), began giving students free food from the kitchen of the fellowship hall in the church.
“The university itself does not give us any money for the food pantry. Faculty members will often go to Sam’s and bring me stuff or occasionally, a student will go to the Student Government Association (SGA) with a bill to either give me money or food. We are completely student run, we rely on donations, and we encourage people to come in,” said Simons.
Simons said that during COVID, the necessary restrictions put a hold on providing food to students because student volunteers were not able to be on campus to open the food pantry.
One of the student volunteers, senior sociology major Kollyn Payne, said she interned with the food pantry last semester and found that pursuing social media for the pantry allowed more students to come in and grab a snack.
“Like if you’re running late for class and you forget to eat or something and really need to eat, [you] can just come by and get what [you] need,” said Payne. “On-campus students might have a more difficult time getting food they need, so we try to offer meals or ingredients to make their own meals.”
While the food pantry at the church had to pause for the pandemic, 4Saints Food Pantry from St. Luke’s Episcopal Church has set up their own food pantry on campus in the Baker building on Wesleyan Street.
The food pantry began in Meadowbrook where four churches in the area arranged and held their first food pantry originally meant to happen one Fridays every month starting in January 2017.
“We went from once a month to, ‘No, we really like this, and people need it.’ So, we’re open every Friday. We’ve missed one Friday in four and a half years, and that was in February, when we were iced in,” said Reverend Karen Calafat of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
The pantry will continue to be open every Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
On the other hand, the TxWes food pantry hours are limited to when students can volunteer their time Monday through Friday.
Free Meal Options
There are also additional free food options on campus. Tuesday, September 7th marks the return of Common Meal since the pandemic began over a year ago. Dr. Childs said that Common Meal began with her predecessor, and she continued to host it when she first became chaplain.
“The first time we did chapel and then we had the Methodist student movement where we would meet and eat,” said Childs. “My predecessor had the brilliant ideas of making the Methodist student movement into Common Meal.”
Childs said that the change allowed anyone to attend Common Meal regardless of faith backgrounds. “[Common Meal] is just a safe place to come and have conversation, eat great food and meet people,” Childs said.
Common Meal is every Tuesday from noon to 1 p.m.
Chapel is every Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. and offers free meals after the service.
Baptist Student Ministries (BSM) is another faith-based organization on campus that offers weekly free lunch on Wednesdays from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Jessica Tuggle has worked with BSM at Texas Christian University (TCU) for five years and had been planning to bring a BSM organization to TxWes campus when COVID began. With the opening of the campus this year, Tuggle said she decided to go ahead, get the requirements that were needed to start BSM here.
“I was a college student myself, and I know that, you know, you need free food here and there. So, we want to be serving the campuses this way. And really like anytime that we can have the opportunity to do community service, or any way that we can be serving campus, we want to take that opportunity,” said Tuggle.
Every week a local church will provide a free meal for students with many churches planning to provide home cooked meals. One church said they would bring Chick-Fil-A in the coming weeks as students amp up for the semester.
Attendants of the first Wednesday Free Lunch event hosted by BSM were given pizza. Tuggle said this decision was made to gauge the number of meals that will be necessary each week.
TCC transfer student and mass communication major Linda Puga said she heard of the free lunch at Ramboree on Aug. 26 and was given a card which listed various BSM events. Puga plans to join BSM as she continues to adjust to the TxWes community.